The Julius Kühn-Institute is both a research institution of the German federal government and a higher federal authority affiliated with the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. One of its units, the ‘Institute for Plant Protection in Fruit Crops and Viticulture‘ is dedicated to the study of pests and diseases of fruit crops and grapevine and their integrated and biological control. The institute’s working group ‘Epidemiology’ is focused on studies of the biology, ecology and control of insect vectors of plant pathogens and the analysis of the role of vector-host plant interactions for the epidemiology of associated diseases. The activities of the working group ‘Bacterial Pathogens’ include the analysis of microbial population dynamics on plant surfaces and the biology, epidemiology and control of plant pathogenic bacteria in fruit crops.
Role in the Project
The work of JKI is primarily carried out in the frame of work package 5. It is focused on studies of the potential role of xylem feeding Auchenorrhyncha for the established of Xylella fastidiosa in central Europe with special emphasis on the ability of those insects to feed on both ornamental plants as potential means of spread of the pathogen and possible permanent woody hosts like fruit trees, grapevine and deciduous trees. The xylem feeder communities in orchards and vineyards will be surveyed. Species will be characterized based on their phenology, abundance and their association with relevant crops. The feeding range of selected species will be further characterized by electrical penetration graph studies and the bacterial communities loosely associated with insects collected from different habitats and host plants will be assessed. The expected results of these studies will help to establish specific preventive measures and to optimize surveillance programs for X. fastidiosa in the central European context.